Point of the Pencil

Point of the Pencil

What a great time to be a newbie self-published novelist!  Just a few years ago, a hopeful author would chase down agents, beg them to read (or glance at) the manuscript, buck the long, long odds, and once in a blue moon, an agent would take on the author (sacrificial lamb), and  pitch the book to a publisher.  If the book actually sold, the author would get a pitiful advance, and royalties of pennies on the dollar.

I went on such an “agent chase.”  I’ll tell you about it later; a story educational and amusing.  But, for now, the newbie novelist is in control of the entire process.  Do you know how much it costs to upload an Ebook to KDP (Kindle Direct)?  Nothing.  Zero.  And the royalties can be as much as seventy percent.  Do you know how much it costs to upload to CreateSpace, Amazon’s subsidiary print operation?  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  The royalties?  It depends upon two variables:  the price (which the author sets!) and the number of pages.  CreateSpace even provides a royalty calculator so you can fiddle around with the price.

There’s a downside, of course.  Several of them.  First, the self-publishing game is super-competitive.  There are literally millions of books being self-published.  Getting your book to “surface” is quite an undertaking.  That’s what Azriel’s Angels are getting ready for:  surfacing.

Then, being “in control of the entire process” means  exactly that.  You do it all, except for the jobs you subcontract:  editing, proofreading, cover design, formatting, training, publicity materials, advertising . . . and those jobs cost real dollars.  How much?  Not counting publicity, where the sky is the limit, launching a full-length, self-published book, one that looks and feels like a “real” book, costs seven to ten grand.

Maybe you can do it cheaper.   What are you going to cut out?